All Star Absurdity
OK, I get it. The All Star Game returns to Montreal for their 100th Anniversary. Wonderful! Terrific!! C’est Magnifique! I hope Montreal really revels in their season long celebration of a century of hockey. Why, though, must this celebration destroy the All Star Game???
Let’s look at the starting lineups. Really pretty simple to do: 4 Montreal Canadiens and 2 Pittsburgh Penguins for the East, and 3 each from the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks in the West. To the other 26 teams, thanks for participating and we have some lovely parting gifts for you.
I mean seriously, give me a break. Nobody in the starting lineup from Boston, San Jose or Detroit, the best three teams in Hockey right now???? Let’s see, who else is missing . .. . oh yeah, guy with the last name of Ovechkin or something. Shouldn’t he start? Nahhh . . .
OK, Montreal is only marginally responsible here, but it just points out the foolishness of the process. (And yes, I also rail against fan selected All Star Teams in other sports). Let’s examine more closely:
Let’s use the forwards as the first example: Malkin and Crosby are 1st and 3rd in points, and 1st and 3rd in assists. No argument. Getzlaf is 27th in goals, but 7th in assists and points. Again, no beef there. Kane is 22nd in goals, 16th in assists, 14th in points. On the team? Sure. Starter? No. Toews is off the radar in all of the categories (47th in assists, 88th in goals, 61st in points). Exciting young player? Absolutely. Not this year — have a seat. Kovalev? Please . . . 62nd in goals, 59th in assists, 68th in points. The 100 year anniversary thing puts him in the game, but otherwise he would be enjoying this game from the jacuzzi at home.
Here are your starters at forward, IMHO: East: Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin (with strong consideration to Jeff Carter and Mark Savard) West: Getzlaf, Daniel Sedin, Jerome Iginla.
Let’s switch to goaltender, which is even whackier:To be fair, Carey Price is at least in the running being 2nd in wins, 5th in GAA, 5th in save percent and 6th in shutouts (within the Eastern Conference) However, what about Tim Thomas? While splitting time with Manny Ferndandez, he is 2nd in the East in wins, 2nd in GAA, 1st in save percent and 1st in shutouts.
In the West, J.S. Giguere is not even in the same area code as the leaders. Heck, he doesn’t even have the best save percentage or GAA on his team! Even though he is a rookie, Steve Mason is the choice here. He has played 20 games, and leads the universe in each category. Don’t want a rookie? Nabokov is the choice then.
I’m all for fan involvement, but let’s not make this a total mockery. C’mon Bettman, let’s get some credibility here.